Sunday, November 02, 2003

Home Again

I have seriously neglected my Blog. I keep taking snapshots of various things and planning what I will put in this Blog and then I never get around to it. I really wish I had a cheap digital camera with me on my trip. There were many things I would like to have take a quick snapshot of. I had a conversation with Kevin Rose last night who has just about talked me into getting one of those picture phones. When they first hit the market I thought "what the hell would you photograph with them?". But now I have been looking for a cheap Pen-Cam that will work with OS-X for Blog purposes. And I hate my phone. HATE IT. Perhaps I should be looking for a phone I can upgrade to on my crappy Verizon plan. Hrm.

So I am so pleased to be home. It feels really good to be back with my family and go to bed with my wife (in clean sheets). Friday was such a long day. I got up the morning feeling hung over from going right to sleep after downing several dark stout brews. My hotel trashcan was overflowing with beer bottles and fast food bags. I never even put my laptop away. I must have hunched over and blanked out watching horror movies. It was actually a good day for class. I was rolling off material like nobody's business. And my students were wanting to get the hell out of there just as much as I was (but not until after the free catared lunch).

I wrapped class right around noon. And timing was good, because lunch arrived about 10 minutes earlier. But there was a man from School Net (who arranged for the class) and wanted to say a few words about registering for more classes, etc. So I instructed everyone to stay put, and he went over some things on my projector. The moment I anounced "lunch" the room cleared out in a stampede fashion. I continued to answer questions, and clean things up.

I couldn't seem to find the woman who works the front desk in the building. I went around the whole building twice and couldn't find her. So I told the School-Net guy to tell her I was taking off, and someone would be by later to pack up the room. The boss has called me the night before and said to take off once class was done because they wouldn't be able to get to Cleveland with the van until much later. So I darted.

I must have been driving about 80 miles an hour back to Columbus. About 20 miles from home I get a phone call from the boss. He is pissed off. He says he called me dozens of times trying to catch me. Aparently his wife (the co-owner) was on her way to Cleveland by herself to pack up. She was supposed to have help from her son who could not get off work and blew her off. To make matters worse, they wanted her to pack it up and get out of the building in 40 minutes time (so they could go home). Woops. :-/

So now I get to go back to work on Monday and drive a few hours with my employers who hate me. The boss was pissed that I hadn't really packed anything up. But he told me I could leave when I was done. So I did. I guess I was supposed to be nice and unplug everything to pack it up before leaving. Oh, and I checked my voicemail. Sure enough I had two messages from my angry boss trying to track me down. Yet, I had no voicemail warnings and my phone never rang. Whatever. So I look like an asshole. Maybe they will fire me and I can start a new career as a sports comentator. Anyone know anything about sports? I don't.

None of that crap really mattered once I was home. It was so good seeing my family again. And that night we went to a halloween party for some drinking and fun. It was a nice little party with some interesting people there. I had an hour long conversation with a woman about Linux, Unix, and the like. She is a member of a local Linux users group and urged me to join the mailing list. It's not often you randomly run into intelligent IT people at non-IT related functions. She was a character. And I couldn't figure out if she was genuinly strange, or just keeping in her character as a member of a coven (her sister was also wearing coven garb).

I wanted to get all kinds of snapshots for my war-driving efforts in Cleveland, but I have nothing to share really. Cleveland is a black hole of activity. It makes Columbus look like New York in terms of size and use of technology. Yet, I was able to find a few things of interest. Coming into Cleveland I found very little. But then as I drove by Cisco Headquarters somewhere on route 77, the alarms went off. There I watched as my lappy started logging hundreds of access points. After the first 10 or 12 you start to get suspicious. :-) What a neat trap. I was impressed with the trick, and it made me wonder if anything I was picking up was a real access point (versus EVERYTHING being fabricated). Here is a snapshot. Check out the times to the far right (I still have no battery, hence the year 1969). But look closely at the seconds placeholder.

Otherwise Cleveland offered nothing in the way of connectivity. I found myself driving up and down the local streets trying to find any kind of signals. Here is a look at what I found in a path between my hotel and where I was teaching. Yes, this is the ENTIRE thing. Sad.

I was able to find a Chiropracter who had a small office in a "historic" little community about 3 miles from my hotel. It was also next to a small church that was still open and active even late at night. So I was able to sit in their parking lot without drawing suspicion. Yet, nobody was around to talk to. My access speed was pathetic (they must have been on a 64k pipe). And it just made me more home sick. So after reading e-mails and picking my nose, it was back to the hotel to mope.

Well it's Sunday, my last day of freedom before returning to do this damned Linux class all over again with another group of people. Lucky me. So I am going to go wash up now and try to enjoy myself.

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